Blackout 10K 2020

Blackout 10K 2020

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2019 Big A 50K

Near the end of loop one. I wasn't dying yet.
My plan to get back into ultras in 2018 was thwarted by my stupid injury and my road marathon focus. The last ultra I had done was the Hilo to Volcano 50K in Hawaii in January of 2018, but that was on the road so it didn't really count. Before that was the Ragged 75 Stage Race in 2017. I've been itching to get back into it, but I just haven't made it happen so when I was reminded about the Big A 50K in York, Maine over the winter, I signed up. I knew I wouldn't be in shape for it, but that was my main reason for signing up. To help me start getting in shape. I was pretty sure I would finish, but I knew it wouldn't be pretty. This is not considered a fast course (if Pat Caron holds the CR, and it's "only" 4:48, then you know it's not a fast course). The good news is that a "not fast" course is up my alley. Very technical and hilly are what I'm best at. Add in the wet, muddy trail, and I knew this was going to be a sufferfest, but I was looking forward to that. I've missed those true trail racing sufferfests, which is why I've added a few to this year's calendar. (Although not an ultra; I'm most looking forward to the Escarpment Trail Race that's been on my bucket list since 2011.)

I was surprisingly not nervous, just a bit out of practice on what to bring and carry. I hate, hate, hate my pack. It hurts my neck so badly and often chafes me so I contemplated not carrying it, but I decided against it. I needed to carry my phone just in case John needed me. I would pass him 4 times during the race, but I still wanted him to be able to reach me. Plus, I saw that the cool, cloudy weather might turn to sun and humidity later in the race so I wanted to carry salt chews. Plus Raisinettes and maple syrup. In order to make my pack as light as possible, though, I opted for one of my Hydrapack water bottles. I chose my new one with the handle, but to be honest, the handle ended up being useless. I would have been fine with my old Hydrapack bottle without the handle. I carried just fine without a handle it at the Battle for Black Rock ultra in 2014 (I so wish I had started back my blog for this one; I'd love to read it now). Anyway, this kept the weight off my back, and I've been carrying handhelds for so long that I'm used to it. My pack ended up not bothering me at all during the race, but I did have neck and shoulder discomfort/pain the next day so I really need to invest in a Salomon Advanced Skin pack at some point. It's the only pack that seems to disperse the weight properly around my neck. (My neck issues go way back to my thru-hiking days on the Pacific Crest Trail when I wore an ill-fitting pack for the first 500 miles to the point of being in tears from the neck pain. It's never been the same since). With today's course being 3 loops, though, I was good with what I had and could have easily gotten by without a pack if I had to.

As far as nutrition, I kind of went with what worked at Ragged 75. Maple syrup. For the main aid station, I dropped Raisinettes, Twizzlers and a jar of feta stuffed green olives. I know that probably just made you gag, but I did end up eating a few olives and Raisinettes. I still have to work on this, though. I struggled with getting in enough calories. I just wanted nothing to do with food the entire race. The only thing I found appealing was Coke at the unmanned aid station, and I hate soda. I never drink it. It was the only thing I could stomach, and I was thankful I brought along my Ultraspire reusable cup I got at some race years ago. As a cupless event, it gave me the option to actually drink some of that Coke. I don't know what it was, but the thought of eating anything made me sick. I forced one swig down of maple syrup on the first and second loops, took one handful of Raisinettes, two olives, a bite size energy bar and a small piece of watermelon. That's it. The whole 31 miles. It may explain why I told everyone I passed on the third loop that I was dying. Haha. So that's something I have to work on. I hate gels, but maybe the Science in Sport gels I sampled would be a good idea to try again. I don't know. Looking back at the Ragged 75, I really didn't eat much more other than a pickle and some candy at each aid station. At the trail marathon I did last year I only ate a pickle and some maple syrup. I also drank very little fluids at those races, too. I did actually drink more at Big A, since the sun did come out bringing the humidity with it. I had Tailwind in my first bottle, but after that, I just wanted water. Drank gatorade twice at the main aid station and the two swigs of Coke at the other. I never actually finished two full bottles of water in my Hydrapack. I was definitely woozy by the last half of the 3rd loop. I'll never make it through a longer ultra if I don't figure out better nutrition.

So anyway, the race started at 7:30am so that meant a very early wake-up at 4am. I questioned my sanity when the alarm went off. I got John out the door right on time, and we headed down to Mt Agamenticus. After Boston's intestinal problems, I got super worried that this early morning start would mess up my "routine" and I'd end up in the woods constantly and then have to add another DNF to my resume. I'm happy to report that I had not one single issue the entire race. Something to be said about moving more slowly, I guess. I don't know. I was just thankful to finally have a good day.

I was one of the first few there and parked next John Sheedy, a Six03 teammate. I immediately found a good group of people that I knew. John Lamneck and Jonathan Miller, both local guys from up here. Bill Jackson, CMS teammate. And some other Six03 teammates, Jessica Goldman, Nick Diana and Chris Straub. There were others there whom I knew but didn't see until during the race or after. I'll be honest that I felt a little out of place with this crowd; I didn't know most of them. Bob Najar, one of the RDs, told someone there I was fast on the short stuff, but he didn't know how I would be on the long stuff. Granted, I've never done any of the really long stuff, but it made me realize that people don't know that I've dabbled in a few ultras over the years and actually won them (one outright). I wish it had been more, but my life was not set up for that until recent years. So I'm not known as an ultra runner. Most people there I think knew me as a road runner, which was funny, since it wasn't long ago I was known as a mountain runner. Bob's comment didn't offend me at all, just made think for a second, "I might have something to prove today."

A little before 7:30am, we stood around the starting area in the sightly chilly and cloudy weather for the pre-race announcements then took the annual photo in front of the barn building thing. 102 starters today.

Nick Diana got a photo of a few of us Six03 people before the start. Thank you, Nick, for making it black and white. It definitely hides the age! Tom Hooper messaged me the next day saying a group of about 5 guys he was with a 7 Sisters who saw the photo were like, "Whoa! Who's that?" Haha. First off, I'm sure Tom is exaggerating. It was probably only one guy. But I had a major beef with this! I asked Tom, "Wait. How did they not know who I was?! I thought everyone knew who I was! I'm offended." Haha. That was said in jest. I did ask if any were single...and liked crazy bitches with a kid. Tom was polite with, "Who doesn't?" as a response, but it's been crickets ever since. Hahaha.

I'll sacrifice the eyebrows if it means hiding the wrinkles.
So anyway, the other RD, Rich, told us to step up to the start line. No one would except Jonathan and me. I wasn't about to get trapped behind a bunch of people on the slippery ledges we'd be hitting right off the bat so I got on the line and off we went. I purposely went off fast here. Like I said, I did not want to get caught behind people trying to navigate the slippery rocks. Four guys took off ahead, then it was Jonathan and me and this one woman who shot out ahead of me. I'm not judging, but I could tell by her pack and shoes that she probably wasn't going to hang long. Some people surprise you, though, so I tried to stay ahead of her, but she hung on and slid past me on one of the slippery slabs. Dammit. At the base of the slabs, the trail took a sharp turn left so cut in front of her on this slight uphill. She fell back immediately and I never saw her again or any other woman, for that matter, the entire race. I ended up running next to Jonathan and another guy who passed us just after the mile mark before we hit the road section. He was flying. To this point, most of the run had been fast downhill. I hated this road section, but it was mostly downhill back to where the trail cut into the woods for the climb back up to the start/finish area. This first loop was less than 3 miles, but it would end up being the most challenging part of the course. The climb back up was like a punch in the gut after the downhill. I didn't hesitate to walk the steep uphills. We had a long way to go, and it was time to slow down into a sustainable pace and not destroy myself. I completely lost Jonathan on this climb as he quickly moved ahead and never saw him again until the finish. I started to catch up with the guy who had just passed us, but he was still moving faster so I didn't even try to catch up. My only goal at this point was not to DNF.

I came back the start line to start the 7 mile section of the 1st loop. I ditched my jacket but kept the gloves. Each loop was a measured 10.35 miles (not GPS, but a close to accurate measurement). This section of the course was really nice. The trails were technical and rolling hills. Just lovely running. I don't know how better to describe it. I was enjoying this first loop a lot. I knew I wouldn't feel this good on the next two loops, though. Around mile 4.5 miles, a guy came flying by me. Shortly thereafter, I caught and passed the guy who passed Jonathan and me at the mile. I kept noticing a guy in blue gaining on me the entire way, but he seemed to slow down a bit to talk to the guy I had just passed. I could hear them for awhile as the course wound around and down a hill. I don't know what it is, but I don't like being in trail races where I can hear people chatting. I'm so used to running alone in silence that it probably is just something I'm not used to so it was a bit disruptive to my brain. (I actually had a few issues during this race with that which has me seriously wondering if I have some sort of neurological disorder haha). The trail had a decent climb at one point where I thought I lost the guys behind me, but as soon as I ran down the other side, I saw the guy in blue again. He definitely seemed to be gaining on me, and as I heard footsteps right behind me, I assumed it was him, but it turned out to be a totally different guy who came out of nowhere and passed me. I ran a little ways behind him as we climbed up to a turn around point where traffic was both ways for a very short time. I was surprised to see two guys not so far ahead. After I turned around, the guy in blue passed on his way up. He looked familiar and then said, "Hey, Leslie. It's Ron." Ohhh, Ron Ruhnke! I haven't seen Ron in years so I couldn't put the face to the name until he said his name.

I took this as I ran
The course made a left turn shortly thereafter to start the run back towards the start/finish. This section was a bit muddier and wet than the rest but most of it was pretty quick running until the last 1.5 miles. This last section was brutal with the climb all the way back up to the summit of the mountain and down to the aid station to finish the first loop. I hit my splits for each loop. This first one was 1:52. Hmm. I really wanted to break 6 hours today, but that wasn't giving me much room for slowing. The aid station ended up being pretty overwhelming. There was way too much stuff and I felt a little bombarded by volunteers, "What do you need? What can I get for you?" It ended up being way too much for me. I needed to space to figure out what I needed. I got some gatorade, quickly grabbed a bite size energy bar and got out of there. I couldn't find any of my food because there was so much stuff on the table. The guy who had been just ahead of me on the course stopped here at one loop. I passed Ron coming in as I headed out and told him that I kept expecting him to catch me. He said not today, as he was only doing one loop.

I wasn't sure how many people were ahead of me now, but I figured 5 or 6 by the time I headed back out. I quickly realized I forgot to drop my gloves. Good thing I was coming back through there in 3-ish miles where I could toss them behind my car. I took the slippery rock slabs much slower on the way out this time. I knew no one was close behind me so there was no need to fly down them. As soon as I took the sharp left, I found myself right behind the guy who had flown by me at mile 4.5. I could tell right away he was hurting. I caught up to him instantly and passed him. And I have to say that I must be an amazing healer because all of a sudden he wasn't hurting anymore. He was so full of energy that all of sudden he was able to stay either right on my heels or Grr. I can't say for sure why he did that, but I'll be honest that this has happened to me quite a few times. Is it because they don't like a woman passing them or is it something totally innocent in that just having someone to run with gave him a little more motivation? Honestly, I really don't know, but it was fucking annoying. If I speeded up, so did he! I should not be running neck and neck with someone in a 50k. WTF. It got so annoying that by the time we got to the road, I slowed down for the very short uphill to force him to pass me. I couldn't stand it. I need space, Dude!

He stayed a decent distance ahead of me on the road, but as soon as we turned onto the trail for the brutal climb up, he slowed way down again. He was walking almost instantly. I walked way more than the first time through, myself, but I still caught up to him quickly. I stayed behind him wanting to pass but I knew were about to come up to a short downhill section where I could pass him more easily so I waited. I passed him quickly and lo and behold...he was all of sudden full of energy again and right behind me!! WTF. All of a sudden he didn't need to walk. I'll admit that this pushed me a bit to move faster so I finally got ahead of him just as we came back to the summit. I only stopped briefly at the busy aid station (a lot of runners were finishing their first loop) then moved on, thankful to be ditching that guy. And like I said, I could be totally wrong and that maybe I just motivated him, but it was still annoying nonetheless.

I headed back out on the longer loop and was really feeling the 3 mile loop. That climb back up killed me. I made a mental note to remember this for the third loop because I could see that being a mental challenge coming back by the aid station and wanting to drop. The downhill from the summit after it was rejuvenating for the legs. I was definitely more fatigued on this loop but I wasn't feeling bad at all. I noticed I was starting to catch up with a different guy in a blue shirt whom I'd seen up ahead occasionally on the 1st loop. I was right behind him as we got to the unmanned aid station, but this is where I stopped for my first swig of Coke and chatted with some guys passing through here still on their 1st loop. I filled my water bottle as well since I hadn't wanted to waste time at the main aid station then moved on. I was surprised that the Coke would end up sitting well with me. It wasn't flat which I guess a lot of people prefer in ultras. Honestly, drinking it flat would have made me gag. Haha.

I was happy to be familiar with the course now so that I could plan my pace the rest of the way. I kept seeing the blue shirt ahead of me but just not close enough yet. I walked up a steep climb and took a goofball photo.

As soon as I crested the other side, I was right behind the guy and he actually stepped aside to let me go by. I said hi and he asked if I was Leslie. I said yes. He said, "I'm Jeff," and paused. For some reason, I didn't let him finish and I responded to him in tone as if I were speaking to a patient. "Hi, Jeff." Haha. It must have sounded awkward. Haha. He then finished his sentence saying he was a friend of someone I know. I ran on, but then Jeff caught me back on the hill. I ran not too far behind him for awhile, but he seemed to fade a bit and I passed him. I actually felt really good through the next section and felt like I was running a decent pace. Definitely slower than the 1st loop, but looking at my watch, I realized it wasn't too bad. I finally climbed back up to the summit with no one in sight behind me at all when I got the chance to look back as I switchbacked to the summit. I finished the second loop in 3:51. My second loop was 1:58:48. 6.5 minutes slower than the first. Still cutting it super close to breaking 6 hours. No sooner had I walked to the aid table than some woman came in right behind me in 3:52. It made no sense. She came in from the same direction I did. I would have seen her if she were behind me as I ran up the summit, but she wasn't there. If she were just finishing her first loop, I would have passed her. Hmm. I finally found my Raisinettes and olives then grabbed a small piece of watermelon as I left. As I headed back out, I passed Jeff coming in and asked him if a woman passed him. He said no. I'm not sure where this woman came from, but it was not from the right direction. Kind of made me wonder if she was trying to cheat, but I hoped that maybe she came in to the aid station from the wrong direction. I still can't figure it out, but fortunately, everything was correct when I finished.

So back I went for my 3rd loop. I knew the short 3 mile loop was going to be the hardest so I took it easy on the downhill. Even though my car had literally been right there by the aid station, I didn't want to waste time waking John up so I actually called him as I ran the downhill. Haha. I woke him up which was good since that meant he was wide awake when I finished. I ran pretty easy back up to the summit so I didn't destroy myself. I ran right through the aid station to head out for the last 7 miles. This placement of aid station is tough mentally. Passing through it so many times makes it enticing to quit, but I wasn't quitting. I was winning.

I was pretty tired and starting to get a little woozy on this loop. I was feeling just how out of shape I was quickly. A guy who had been pretty far back behind me came flying by making it look easy. I knew I was going to be one hurting puppy as each mile passed. I stopped for Coke again and continued on. The climb up to the turn around did me in so with about 3.5 miles to go, I entered the death march. I was hurting so badly. I couldn't wait for this to end. All I could think of was the long climb to the summit. I was dying. I saw a lot more racers out on this loop since I was passing a lot headed out on their 3rd and lapping others. I caught up with Bob Najar as he was nearing the end of his 2nd loop. I don't think he expected me to be leading and said he hadn't been sure I had planned to do the whole 50K. I told him I was really out of shape for the distance, but it was why I was there. He asked about the course, and I told him it was wonderful, because it was. He wished me a strong finish and I carried on.

It truly was a death march to the end. I was begging for mercy. Haha. Just as I came over the summit John Lamneck was there (he stopped at 20 miles). I looked at him and said, "I'm dying." Haha. Finally, the run to the finish. I could finally stop running. 1st female in 5:56:53. Yes!! I had broken 6 hours! And finished 5th overall. My 3rd loop had been 2:05:47 so almost exactly 7 minutes slower than the second. I was happy with that. I thought for sure I wasn't breaking 6 hours. 8 minutes off the course record, but 8 minutes would have taken considerably more effort and fitness. I was ecstatic with how I did. This course was so me, though. I love technical and rolling hills. Had it been something "easy" like Pineland, I never would have won, but this was my course today. 5,150ft of elevation gain.

Full Results

I was met by Jonathan Miller and John Lamneck at the finish. Jonathan had finished 3rd. After being a decent distance back from 2nd, he almost caught him, finishing within a minute. John showed up there kind of like me, not really in shape for it and just looking to get in a long run. I was so done that I had to sit down right away on the ground. The car was literally 20ft away but I couldn't make it so I called John on the phone. Haha. I had to stand up for a photo with Rich with my Runner's Alley gift certificate that I won. I decided to stay standing and get myself to the car to change out of my nasty clothes. I grabbed a beer out of John Sheedy's cooler first and replaced it with one of mine that I brought him. Holy cow. Only about 4 sips of that beer and I was feeling it.

I ended up making banana bread, potato salad, brownies and then dinner the night before the race.
After I changed, I got John to get out of the car and come eat. I was so not hungry but I ate some of the potato salad and brownies I made. John ate some stuff. He was in a really good mood and walked over to the summit rocks to play on them while I hung out and chatted with people. We both got burgers before we left. I needed to get back to get Chill out. Phoenix was with us, but she only got out to use the bathroom. I could barely walk and the ride home was brutal. I force fed myself the burger but really couldn't stomach it. The one thing I can always stomach, though, is ice cream so I stopped for just that on our way home. Limped through the grocery store just for ice cream.

I took the dogs on a short walk once we got home which really helped me loosen up. Then I sat on the deck and played stick. I was dead to the world the rest of the night. Tired from being up at 4am and from being out of shape. Haha.

Close to passing out on the couch

Thoughts on my race: I was confident I could run the distance, but I know that if I want to do a 50 this year, I have a lot of work to do. I was considering jumping into the Pineland 50 as a day-of reg to see just how far I could make it before quitting, but I don't want to waste $100 to do a race I don't plan on finishing. Instead I'm going to do another attempt at the Warner Trail in-full sometime around then or early June. That trail is looming over me. I have to finish it. And especially before it gets too overgrown. I really want to do another 50K in June, but there just aren't any that work with my schedule. Drives me nuts that the last weekend of June has nearly nothing across the whole country. That's the weekend of WS100, but that really shouldn't deter people from putting on ultras. Instead, everyone is putting them on on June 22nd. Annoying. I do have the 12 hour race and Escarpment in July so that will make up for it. And I'll either do Ragged 50K or the Bear Brook Trail Marathon in August. So I'm getting there slowly. Overall, I'm just really happy I came out to the Big A 50K. It was a great event, so well-organized, $15 (donation), a huge spread of post race food. I couldn't have asked for a better event to jump start getting back into ultras.

I'll finish off with the rest of the week now. Running total: 55.6 miles. Obviously, I ran low mileage for the rest of the week and also took 3 zeros (well, one was .75 miles interrupted by a 911 call haha). I did actually do two harder runs the two days before the 50K, but I ran both slowly. I was still sore for race day, but it didn't affect me. 10,669ft of elevation gain for the week. My most in awhile.

Monday, 4/29- I wanted to run today, but my tendons were KILLING me so I took a zero. Like I said before, if I can keep running, I will, even if that means I have to take more days off than I'd like just to keep the tendons happy. It was the right move. Walked 2 miles on the RR tracks behind work instead and got in my strength stuff. Glutes, Chest/Triceps and Abs.

Tuesday, 4/30- I had a dentist appointment at 10. Just a regular cleaning, but I've been having so many issues with this root canal tooth basically since I got it. The dentist concurred that it was a failed root canal and would need to either be evaluated for a repair (basically another root canal all over again) or to pull the tooth. Honestly, I just wanted the tooth gone. I never was a fan of getting a root canal to begin with, and it cost me $1000s out of pocket. I'm still kicking myself for that. Getting it "fixed" would cost me all of that over again so there was no way. I don't have the money. What a waste. The dentist said if any tooth had to be pulled, my bad tooth was actually the one since it was the last molar on my left side. So I told him I wanted it out. Sadly, I can't afford an implant so now I'm going to be toothless. I'd be lying if I said that doesn't bother me. I've always had such nice teeth! I got my first cavity (that same tooth) when I was 36. All of my other teeth are so nice and now I was going to be missing one!! I'll admit I'm being a bit of snob, but people like me don't have missing teeth! But, guess what? I am one of those people who just can't afford any other option. I feel like white trash. Haha. I don't care if that's offensive, but to me, missing teeth=white trash. I know that's inaccurate, but the tooth is actually out now (since I'm writing this so late) and I feel like white trash. Haha. Had to be done though.

Happy to see me when I got home and wouldn't let me take my shoes off.
After my appointment, I was dying to get out on the Moat Mineral Site Trails even though I expected to find it a mess and some snow. And I certainly did. I had a loose plan for my run but had to modify it a few times due to the High School Loop being a mess, a lot of snow on the Mineral Site Trail and the connector to the Stoney Ridge Trails being flooded. The FS road had a lot of snow, but it was hard-packed. So I kind of ran backwards than what I planned but still hit Thompson Falls. It was roaring. 8.3 miles in 1:27:15. 982ft of elevation gain. Super slow run with all of the blow downs, debris and snow.

One of many blow downs

WTF, snow

I didn't have much time left for a walk for Phoenix before picking John up so we just did a short walk at his school.

The daffodils I planted in the fall finally came up

Wednesday, 5/1- Had to do another monthly at work. Ugh. We had a different primary truck, too, and one that probably hadn't been cleaned inside in years. I'm not exaggerating. So it needed it. Jeff and I started wearing junk clothes to work to do the monthly since we get so filthy from the dirt and dust. Glad we did because I was covered in filth.

I waited way too long in the day to attempt a run. My old ambulance partner, Michelle, stopped by in the middle of it so I had to stop. Probably would have gotten 2 miles in instead of .75 if I hadn't chatted before the tone dropped. It was just for a propane leak so I thought it would be quick and just sitting in the truck. Decided not to change fully so I just put on my work shirt with my shorts and running shoes. We sat at the propane leak for almost an hour. I just knew were going to get another 911. And we did. So I looked like an idiot in my button down work shirt and running shorts. Haha. It was one of our frequent fliers, though, so he didn't care. Pat, the fire chief, chuckled and shook his head at me. Haha.

I did my glutes, back/biceps and abs earlier that day.

Thursday, 5/2- I took Phoenix with me to Green Mt to run the triple, i.e. all three trails top-to-bottom. I knew having Phoenix would slow me down a bit on the downhills so I didn't destroy my quads. She can run uphill faster than me, but on long steep downhills, she gets behind a bit so I hung back some. It didn't work. I was pretty sore the next day. Haha. My GPS had a major fail for this but somehow got the elevation almost correct. 8.3 miles in 1:48:16. 3,062ft when it's actually closer to 3,600ft. Not bad considering it actually had me completely skipping one trail. Haha. I apparently ran across a pond, too. I only went up the fire tower on the last time up, and it looks like that's when the GPS caught a better signal again.

What it was supposed to look like...

Steep climb. Haha

Phoenix with the fire tower.

In my "dressing room" after the run. It had rained through a lot of the run so I had to change.
I was bored in the afternoon so I went over to Tuckerman for a beer and some cans. I'm fine going out alone, but for some reason, I'm not liking it as much anymore.

Friday, 5/3- I knew it wasn't a great idea to run 10 miles the day before the 50K but I HAD to run the 10 mile course for my race so I could put it out there for the racers. With the snow falling so early last year, I only made it out to do the one 5-mile loop. Knowing it would be lot of elevation gain, I literally jogged the course twice so that I was never out of breath. And I walked the steep sections. My quads were sore from the day before so I wanted to take it extra easy. Unfortunately, when I finished my 10-mile course, it only came out to 8.8 GPS miles. Hmm. This probably came out to 9.5 miles in reality. Ugh. Not the plan. I really wanted it to be closer to 10 miles (not necessarily GPS, but for real). So after all that I ended up changing the course anyway. I'm still glad I ran it so that I knew. People love to complain about their GPS distances, and if I had people with less than 9 miles on theirs, I knew I would be dealing with it. Instead, now, they are actually going to be running OVER 10 miles in reality, with the GPSs probably getting 9.8 or so. Haha. This course is NOT easy. Since I can only clear the trails on the .6 mile section across the road, the rest is going to be leaf-covered. Over 750ft of elevation gain for the 5-mile and over 1500ft of gain for the 10-mile. Should be interesting.

View from a new section of the course. South Moat Mt is hidden in the clouds.
It started pouring as soon as I finished my run. I tried to take the dogs on a walk in the rain, but Phoenix wasn't having it. She literally turned around and went back to the car. Chill was sad, but he had already done a walk with Bryan. Phoenix was so wet and cold just from that that she completely turned her car blanket into a nest. The heavy rain turned into a light rain long enough when we got to John's school that I was able to try again on a walk. It was only a mile but better than nothing.

Giving me the paw and running back to the car. Haha

I still have no shame in taking a handful of lollipops when I leave the bank.
I literally spent 4 hours on my feet that evening preparing for the 50K the next day. We had to bring aid table stuff and a dish for after. I decided to bring both the potato salad and brownies. I needed pre-race banana bread, too. Dinner was beef stroganoff. Not really the best way to spend the night before a race, but I did end up going to bed early.

Sunday, 5/5- I woke up completely not sore. No tendon pain. All I felt was some heaviness/fatigue in the legs. WTF. I usually don't get very sore or need much recovery after a 50K, but considering I could barely walk when I went to bed, I didn't expect to wake up feeling good. This would end up biting me in the ass over the next week since I totally ignored any recovery at all except for taking a zero day on Sunday. It was such a nice day, and I slept in until 9am. I got on my spin bike for 30 minutes. Nothing difficult but enough to get my heart rate up and break a sweat, then I did my shoulder workout and realized my shoulders were sore from my pack. I let John sleep in until I was too starving to wait any longer.

We drove up to Sunrise Shack for breakfast which was awesome as always. John was really excited to go to breakfast since it had been a long time. After breakfast, we drove over to the trailhead for Mt Stanton. I remembered it being an easy hike, but with temps wicked hot in the 70s (haha. It felt crazy hot to us) and my tired legs, we both struggled up the 1.6 miles to the overlook. It was such a nice day, but I was beat after.

She was so hot that she was sitting in a puddle.

John dumped pine straw on me. Haha.

The hike is actually steep in a lot of places.

Down for the count the rest of the day.
So overall, it was an excellent week! I hope to continue that trend. As always, though, I'm a bit stressed out with my race stuff, but it's old hat by now. Just all the last minute stuff coming together. The shirts came out great, but I'm not posting a photo of them anywhere beforehand so you'll see that in the next blog post when I catch up on two weeks. Not only do I have my race on Sunday, but I have the NE-GP 5K on Saturday in Westfield, MA. I feel like I've lost all speed in the last two weeks, so this should be another shit show. That being said, I'm looking forward to it. Something new for the Grand Prix, and it's short and fast. I'm not looking forward to getting home late that night to load up my car for the Dirty Girl the next morning. I've done it before, though, and it worked out fine (2015, I ran the 5000m at Bentley University the night before the Dirty Girl. Got home around 9pm and still managed to get my shit together). After this weekend, I can get back to my regular racing schedule and hopefully improve on my trail/mountain running fitness.


  1. WoW, What A Detailed Race Report. Well Done Kid

    Congrats on persevering throughout the physical demands and mental anguish and for not adding another DNF to your resume. Win Win I Would Say.

    As I have only been following along for a short time, John is growing up so fast. Where does the time go? Before you know it, you will be known as the crazy lady with with three cars in the driveway.

    I do appreciate all of the photos and I am rather pleased with your taste in well crafted brews. I am looking forward to following along with your new search on the nutrition front. Or Hell, print a few shirts that read " coke and raisinets " on the front & "1st Place Baby" on the back. But now the ice cream recovery snack is truly pure righteousness. Dig That Phish Food!!

    So To You My White Trash Friend, Keep That Chin Up & Smile

    P.S. You Flippin Rock

    1. All is going well! I was so busy last week and then the internet was out most of the day at work so I didn't finish my blog post. It will be finished tomorrow morning.
      Funny how much better I've been feeling with better weather and no road marathons on the schedule. Haha.
      Nutrition on the long runs remains the same. Not good enough. Haha. Bonked a little on my long run today but actually brought Nuun along and perked up a little. I started using Nuun in 2009 and continued to use it up until only a few years ago. Not sure why the change, but I think I'm going to go back to it. 🙂